On 26 June 2021, Jozi Book Fair held yet another successful Tsohang Batjha short story writing workshop for young writers at the House of Movements in Pritchard Street, Johannesburg. The workshop accommodated mainly Grade 7 and Grade 8 learners from different schools in different communities around Johannesburg. Tshohang Batjha is a schools’ youth project of the Jozi Book Fair (JBF). 18 Interested and willing learners attended the workshop under the difficult circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, some with the accompaniment of their parents.
The learners were taken through the elements of a short story, and also had an exercise where they analysed certain photos of South African life, and asked to think about what story ideas it gave them. This served as a chance for learners to engage with each other and express what they observed to be issues concerning the socio-economic circumstances of the communities in which they live.
The learners were also give a space to share their stories on how the COVID-19 pandemic had affected their lives, as well as how much the world around them had changed, including the way they go attend school now.
Not only were the bright students able to learn a lot about how to write a short story, they also wrote beautiful stories, some sharing their personal life stories and others expressing stories they could either relate to or that they had imagined happening (fictional stories).
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